Sunday, October 28, 2012

Marathon O'Bunny

As usual, blog writing as catharsis, exorcising the internal demons.

Moncton was an awesome experience; got my group in on-time (3:40:16) amd there was at least one PB in there somewhere. This was the original end of my late-season goal, which was to run the three Maritime province marathons in three weeks. That's not that huge achievement when you consider Scott Clarke from PEI running his third sub-3 in 14 days and HRC's AB expat Ian Blokland with his second Sub-3 in seven.

It's a long story but my brother is getting married next week in London. That's London, England, not London, ON. Not that I need to exorcise any internal demons on that score. Sian is a lovely women, they have been together for at least ten years and known each other (not in the biblical sense of course) for far longer. They co-own a graphic design business and have two children together. So really, getting married is just crossing an 'i' and dotting a 't'.

Thanks to the vagaries of international airline prices it ended up being significantly cheaper to fly over two weekends, rather than just shoot over for a long weekend. In hindsight, with the Frankenstorm bearing down on the East coast this week, there is a good chance we wouldn't have been able to leave on Wednesday anyway. So, instead of bumming around London for a week, we ended up stopping over with Mary and Eoin in Dublin. The Dublin marathon just happens to be tomorrow. At first blush the trip to Emil's wedding was going to be that rarity, a holiday sans racing or officiating. The proximity of the Dublin marathon made us reconsider and each of us independently decided the opportunity was too good to pass up and entered.

We just went to pick up our race-kits at the RDS Centre. Unlike the local races we've done recently, this had a proper expo; tons of booths with shoes and assorted kit as well as a huge Tri zone, as befits a race of this size, some 14000. There's only a marathon tomorrow, no half, no 10, no 5. That made the expo atmosphere a little different, maybe a little more relaxed. Fewer people totally freaking out about racing, more people just getting on with it.

I got myself a nice running jacket from Craft, only €45, no POP sales tax (wow, did I just say something flattering about the VAT?), down from €115. I'll bore y'all with it later, but it's got some nice features.

Starting to get the butterflies already. It can't be about doing the distance. I mean, I just did one didn't I? Part of it is dealing with four hours of fresh jet-lag. I'm doing the tried-true flying east trick of landing at dawn (which resets your circadian rhythm) on two hours sleep and gutting it out until after dinner. It's ugly, but it works. None-the-less, I think I'm more worried about sleeping in tomorrow than the event itself!

Catastrophing a whole bunch again too. That bilateral cancer of the patella is back!

I'm not sure how tomorrow will turn out. On the plus side, this event wasn't even on my radar a month ago, so I'm not exactly putting my season's goals in this basket. Mike Kennedy?

I've felt myself getting slower over the last 14 days. At Valley I felt great running at 5 min/km. Seven days later at PEI, I was 10-and-1-ing a 3:30, so that was 4:45 min/k and a powerwalk. Toward the end of the Confederation Trail, 36 km, the 4:45s started to bite. Seven days later in Moncton I bunnied 3:40. My group wanted to run continuous, so that was 5:09 min/km and that started to feel hard toeards the end.

So, what's going to happen? I think the best to hope for is set off at 4:20 min/km, hang around the 3:15 pace-bunny (instead of being it) and see how long it will stick. Then, when it stops, pull the Schleck-chute, slow down to pace-bunny pace and enjoy a walk around a city I don't know with 13 999 of my closest, newest, running buddies.

Still, if all goes to plan, a finishers t-shirt and a Marathon Maniacs 4-star Iridium level await on Merrion Square.


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